WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Senate has voted to terminate President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Senate voted 59-41 for a resolution to halt Trump's emergency order. Trump has promised to veto it, and it is unlikely that Congress will have the votes to override him.
Yet the vote represents a break between Trump and Senate Republicans. It's the first time Congress has used its power to reject a presidential emergency order.
Trump wants to use his declaration to steer $3.6 billion more to border barriers than lawmakers approved. He had warned Republicans to stick with him on the vote. He said doing otherwise would be siding with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But several Republicans defied that warning, including Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
In a statement, Murkowski defined her vote on House Joint Resolution 46 as a vote to uphold the separation of powers.
"Article 1 provides that the power to appropriate lies with the legislative branch. When the executive branch goes around the express intention of Congress on matters within its jurisdiction, we must speak up or legislative acquiescence will erode our constitutional authority," Murkowski said in part. "We can and must address the President's very legitimate concerns over border security, but we must not do it at the expense of ceding Congress' power of the purse."
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) voted against the resolution of disapproval despite his previous expression of concerns about funds being diverted away from military readiness projects toward a border wall.
"After much reflection, I have concluded that today’s vote was primarily about the underlying emergency and, as I have consistently stated, there is no doubt that a crisis exists at the border," Sullivan's statement said in part. "I could not vote for a bill that, in effect, would block the President’s attempt—using authority authorized by Congress and previously invoked by numerous Presidents—to better secure the border and keep Americans safe.”
President Trump wants to steer $3.6 billion more to border barriers than lawmakers approved. The move is also being challenged in court.